We began hiking at about 5:20a. We hiked about 8 miles (90% uphill) to get to the base of the mountain. This is by far the most challenging hikes I have ever done. It took us 6 hours.
I took the back of the group most of the time. It was frustrating because I was going the same pace as Grace: I know for a fact I was. But her strides are like 2.5 times mine so it just looks like I'm hella struggling. It took me about 4 miles to get over that. I think I was mostly annoyed because I felt like Grace (and the boys) were using me as a break. And they would do this terrible annoying thing where they would wait for me to catch up and creepily stare at me the whole time and then once I caught up, they would continue, as if I didn't need a break.
The first three miles is stairs that are cut into the granite. You pass by vernal and nevada falls. After that, the scenery kind of changes to forest... it is uphill through the woods. By this point I kind of forgot like where I was going and why I was hiking. I felt like we were walking and walking without purpose. Then, once you start approaching sub-dome, it flattens out.
The view was ABSOLUTELY breathtaking. I've never seen anything like it.